Phoenix Group achieved a 59 per cent increase in open new business long-term cash generation of £766m in 2020, up from 2019’s figure of £483m, and has pledged to invest to become market-leading in corporate pensions through the Standard Life brand it acquired full rights to last month.
It said this figure is close to matching the circa £800m new business threshold that would fully offset the in-force run-off.
In a results update published today Phoenix declared a 3 per cent increase in its dividend and cash generation of £1.7bn in 2020. The life insurance consolidator said its Solvency II balance sheet saw a £0.9bn increase in surplus to £5.3bn as at 31 December 2020, and said the adverse impact from the 2020 economic situation had only held it back by £200m.
Phoenix’s Retirement Solutions bulk purchase annuity new business long-term cash generation increased 122 per cent year-on-year to £522m from £235m in 2019.
It achieved group operating profit of £1,199m in 2020, up from £810m in 2019, including profits of the ReAssure business it bought from Swiss Re in December 2019.
Assets under administration grew to £338bn as at 31 December 2020, up from £248bn a year earlier.
The provider, which has 14m customers, says it is committed to investing in its customer and digital propositions with key deliverables including the launch of a workplace ESG default fund, in-scheme drawdown for master trust and an enhanced client analytics tool.
£2m was donated by Phoenix to support charities across 2020 including donations, colleague fundraising and supplier contributions.
Phoenix Group CEO Andy Briggs says: “2020 was a landmark year for Phoenix during which we completed the acquisition of ReAssure and became the UK’s largest long- term savings and retirement business. We delivered record cash generation of £1.7 billion, our Solvency balance sheet remained resilient, we delivered our highest ever year of Open business growth, and we have recommended a 3 per cent increase in our 2020 final dividend.
“We are led by our purpose of ‘helping people secure a life of possibilities’ to deliver for all of our stakeholders and are putting sustainability at the heart of our business. During the year we have focused on delivering better outcomes for our customers, investing in our people, supporting our local communities, and have made a commitment to be net-zero carbon across our operations by 2025 and our investment portfolio by 2050. COVID-19 has challenged each and every one of us and I am very grateful for the outstanding dedication and professionalism of my colleagues which ensured we protected our customers throughout.
“Looking ahead to 2021, we will continue to optimise our in-force Heritage business for cash and resilience, while the recent acquisition of the Standard Life brand will support us in accelerating our Open business growth strategy.”